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March 1, 2006
Mark Singleton, president and CEO of CNB; as told to Colin Beasty
Secret of My Success: Getting More for the Money
Why CRM? Citizens National Bank (CNB) has two parts to its CRM strategy. One was our call center piece, which currently handles about 4,000 calls a day with approximately 10 to 20 agents. The second and more important piece was our sales force, which for us is about 30 relationship bankers. They're the heavy lifters who contact people and drive business for us by getting more loans and deposits. For them, we needed to build out their contact and activity tracking so management could gain better insight into the business. By doing so, we would also improve the turnaround time for credit and loan approvals. In addition, we needed the ability to store the interactions our relationship bankers were having with potential customers electronically. If we lost a salesperson to another bank, that person would take all of the customer contact information, history, etc. We wanted to pick up where the salesperson left off. Finally, we had been using Siebel for about three years. While it was working fine in the contact center, it failed miserably with the relationship bankers. The interface was difficult, it was hard to customize, and it cost us a fortune to maintain. Every time we wanted to make a change, we needed to call the company up and have a team come in. They would play footsies for about a month. To do something outside of Siebel's current architecture was just a nightmare.
What were some of your key criteria for selecting a vendor? Doug Furney, of Small Business Solutions, had helped us on the Siebel implementation. He had run across QuickBase and suggested it. QuickBase had everything we liked: rapid deployment, easy customization, and a company with good credentials. It was completely Web-based, which allowed our relationship bankers to access the system from anywhere. Also, it's a solution that's incredibly easy to customize. Our staff can make changes and customize the product at a much lower cost than with Siebel. Finally, it was very easy for the end users to learn.
How did the implementation go? One of the things we learned from the Siebel implementation was to phase the role out. If you dump the entire thing on the end users at once, it just doesn't work. We started with the call center and focused on that at first, then we moved to the relationship bankers. That QuickBase is so customizable made the step-by-step roll out possible. We gave the relationship bankers about four weeks to play with the new system and then flicked the switch and told them this was now the only way they could get their sales reports entered into the system.
What have been the main rewards? The cost of ownership and maintenance fees is much cheaper with QuickBase than it was with Siebel. Every time we want to make an upgrade or a customization fix, we don't need to wait a month. Most of the changes are done in house. The other big advantage is the insight we've gained. The amount of institutional data, as I like to call it, has increased tenfold. For example, we have a total of 15 branches. Management has daily, up-to-date access to all customer interactions and transactions that are taking place with our relationship bankers. QuickBase has completely automated our ability to track opportunities, maintain customer contact information, and has improved the time it takes to approve credits and loans.
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